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A History of Herbalism with Emma Kay
Episode 216th August 2022 • The British Food History Podcast • Neil Buttery
00:00:00 00:46:18

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Neil’s guest today is historian and friend of the show Emma

Kay. Today we talk about Emma’s new book A History of Herbalism: Cook, Cure

& Conjure which was published in June 2022.

We talk about the importance of herbs in medicine, magic and

food, and how these things were interconnected, the four humours, Anglo-Saxon

medical texts, the double standards surrounding men and women who practised

magic and medicine, two female pioneers of botany and herbalism, and narcotic

garden vegetables.


Emma’s book is published by Pen &

Sword History:

Follow Emma on twitter @museumofkitchen

and Insta @emma_kay_author. Her website is


Things mentioned in today’s episode:

Marianne North’s edited biography:

Elizabeth Blackwell’s A Curious



Neil’s book A Dark History of

Sugar is available now from all bookshops as well as from the publisher Pen

& Sword:


If you want to buy a signed copy

directly from Neil for £18 + postage (£2.85 if within the UK, the going rate if

outside!). Contact him via email or social media if you fancy it (see below).


Also, don’t forget if you have any questions

or queries about today’s episode, or indeed any episode, or have a question

about the history of British food please email me at, or find me on twitter @neilbuttery, or Instagram

dr_neil_buttery my DMs are open.


If you like my blog posts and podcast

episodes, please consider a monthly subscription or buying me a virtual coffee

or a pint? Go to for more details.

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